Ontario declares 2nd state of emergency, issues stay-at-home order

The Ontario government has declared a state of emergency — the second since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic — and is issuing a stay-at-home order.

Premier Doug Ford said the state of emergency will be in effect for at least 28 days.

The stay-at-home order will take effect on Thursday at 12:01 a.m. and means all Ontario residents must stay at home except for essential reasons.

Read more: COVID-19 deaths in Ontario’s 2nd wave to exceed 1st if contacts aren’t reduced, modelling suggests

“Under the declaration of a provincial emergency, the province will provide authority to all enforcement and provincial offences officers, including the Ontario Provincial Police, local police forces, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with the stay-at-home-order,” officials said in a government news release Tuesday.

The province has also announced new restrictions for retailers and the construction industry.

Students will not return to in-person learning in Toronto, Peel, York, Hamilton, and Windsor until Feb. 10.

Earlier on Tuesday, provincial officials released new COVID-19 modelling which showed that deaths in Ontario’s second wave could outpace the first if people don’t have a “significant reduction” in contacts with others.

Ontario could see deaths rise to 100 per day by the end of February and intensive care units will continue to face serious challenges.

Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, who worked on the projections, said that would likely make COVID-19 the leading cause of death in Ontario — ahead of cancer and heart disease — “with very little opportunity for challenge.”

More to come.

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